Saturday, August 23, 2008

Politics and Religion

It's tough to stay on my side of the line between politics and religion during this intense campaign season. I personally have never been so caught up in a presidential race as I have been in this one. And there's been so many issues that have been brought up in this race, issues that I am free to comment on, professionally and personally, like race, gender, the economy, war. There have been issues of religion brought up by this presidential race, too, that I have found absolutely fascinating, and sometimes infuriating. For example, there is the fact that a substantial number of U.S. Americans still believe Barack Obama is a Muslim, and the anti-Muslim sentiments that have been e-mailed around the company accompanying statements of his supposedly Muslim identity. This campaign has also brought up what I would consider the most religious issue of all: hope.

Our church web page links to this blog, because I am its minister, yet this is not a blog that is run by or owned by the church. It is mine. However, I've steered away from talking about candidates on my blogs, because I want to tread carefully around that line, and I know this blog is a blurry spot, as I do say on here that I am a minister of a particular church, and I call the blog Rev. Cyn. And, too, I know our congregation must remain non-partisan. I know I cannot endorse a candidate from the pulpit or in the newsletter. I know we have members who are both Democrat and Republican. And, in fact, I treasure those things. I treasure our diversity. I treasure the separation between church and state. At the same time, as an individual I have strong political leanings, and I feel free to express them in private ways--in yard signs in front of my own house, in bumper stickers on my own car, or as links from my own facebook page.

All that being said, here is a video that a colleague posted on his blog that I found very moving. And it is partisan. It is clearly a video endorsing Obama. Yet if one just listens to the words, it expresses a deep and religious hope, a prayer for our country, that cannot be separated from the religious. And that shows just how complicated this all is.

1 comment:

Bill Baar said...

Obama could easily dispell the Muslim business by showing some solidarity with the Muslims we've faught and died with in Iraq and Afganistan.

I've followed Obama for a long time and he usually dodges hard questions with this red hearing about people thinking him a Muslim.

If he would only have stood up after the Sammarra shrine bombing and said we're all Muslims today....